With a move to a new house and larger listening room, I decided to build a new system.
Again, I chose a corner enclosure, with non-facing panels; and again, used dry sand in auto body undercoat to dampen the panels. The acoustic damping material is long-haired sheep’s wool. While acoustically efficient, the drawback is that for months, you can smell the sheep as the port “breathes”.
I chose JBL 15’s for the bottom end, the JBL 10 mid-bass and Vifa D75MX-41-08 3″ Textile Dome Midrange (unfortunately no longer available) with Bohlender Graebener Neo3-PDRW Planar Tweeters.
The Vifa midrange is brilliant. Smooth, natural sound with excellent on and off axis response. Very efficient, too; I had to pad it down. The BG tweeters are excellent; I would have preferred 16 ohm models, as I used two per side, and ideally would have wired them in parallel; but instead, they are 4 ohm, so I wired them in series. I am not a fan of wiring *any* drivers in series, especially woofers, as they can interact with each other adversely; but in this case, they seem to work well, which tells me that they are well matched from a manufacturing standpoint.
I hand-wired a four-way crossover, using 18 gauge enamelled copper wire in air-core coils. I put the spindles on my lathe and rigged up an electronic counter to count the turns. Initially I calculated the inductance values, but then bought an inductance meter to be more accurate. Polypropylene non-polar capacitors and silver solder, and the sound is wonderful. I installed the crossovers into a box behind the 2×8 support that I routed out for the midrange and tweeters. It looks a bit like a tombstone, but it puts the high frequency components at ear level, and I like them!
The room is EQ’d by a modified Behringer DEQ 2496 (mod was done by Scott Endler at Endler Audio (see http://mysite.verizon.net/vze4c5pt/id14.html ) – truthfully, I can’t really hear the difference, and there are others (such as Audio Pro, Watertown Massachusetts – who did an upgrade to my Apt Holman preamp) who say that there’s no benefit to changing the DAC on the DEQ2496. Anyway, I took the plunge, in the interest of sonic purity.. and even unmodified, the DEQ2496 is a wonderful addition to a sound system. It can turn a good system into a great system. Trust me, try it. You can pick up this brilliant digital EQ off Ebay often for under $200.